RV.Net Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Lithium Ion Batteries...Yikes

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in General RVing Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Lithium Ion Batteries...Yikes

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
Sponsored By:
mikemc53

NC Florida

Full Member

Joined: 02/28/2014

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 05/08/21 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, we just had an "interesting" experience while on the road with our 37' Class A.


I was driving through Alabama, near Montgomery on I-65, when my wife noticed a smell, like something burning. It took me a few seconds to pick up on it and by the time I noticed it the smoke detectors were going off and the coach had a hazy look inside of it. I pulled onto the shoulder and did a quick run through but saw nothing. We opened the door and my wife saw flames coming from underneath the coach toward the rear. I jumped out and there were flames and molten plastic, along with some wires hanging under the bay near my house battery compartment. The grass along the shoulder of the freeway was starting to catch and my wife had already called 911. I grabbed a fire extinguisher and opened the bay door. The flames seemed to be at the back of one bay and underneath the coach. I extinguished everything before the fire and police arrived. At first we thought it was something in our house charging system but upon further investigation it was apparent that a small hand held battery booster/jump starter was the culprit. Now I have carried this thing for years and seldom used it. In fact I have never used it on the motor home only on my car or garden tractor. It was not being used and only sitting in the bay next to the bay for my house batteries but it went up in flames. Everyone was OK and the damage seemed to have been contained but another few minutes and who knows what might have happened. My propane bay is just one more up from where the fire started!
Anyway, a lot of mess but no human damage (except to the nerves). This is just to let everyone know that Lithium Ion batteries are extremely dangerous - I had no idea they could spontaneously combust. I'll try and follow up after a complete investigation by the repair facility and the insurance company but, be careful gang.


2004 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 37PCT

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2003

View Profile



Posted: 05/08/21 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, a follow-up would be great. I, for one, would like to hear more about the suspected reason this sucker just spontaneously combusted.


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 05/08/21 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you are OK.

Yes, Lithium batteries can pack a punch and do deserve some consideration and caution. Granted there are some Lithium versions "safer" than others but the fact remains that for the size and weight, they hold a considerable amount of charge energy even when stored.

Folks have gotten used to these batteries and don't pay much respect to the stored energy in them..

Good chance your device malfunctioned (shorted) while being stored or the other possibility is it may have had one of the bad batches of Lithium batteries which had impurities which over time would short out the cells which were recalled.

CA Traveler

The Western States

Senior Member

Joined: 01/03/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/08/21 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer, Good post.

New technology sometimes has it's negatives. Remember the major airlines with smoking batteries?


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


noteven

Turtle Island

Senior Member

Joined: 02/13/2011

View Profile



Posted: 05/08/21 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting - glad you were able to extinguish the fire.

Oh by the way - all DC batteries store an amount of electrical potential that can’t wait to find it’s way to “ground” ...

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 05/09/21 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you and family are ok. All batteries deserve respect.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


naturist

Lynchburg, VA

Senior Member

Joined: 04/24/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 05/09/21 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow. Good to hear you were able to contain the damage and no one was hurt. Some of those charger/booster boxes use AGM (a lead/acid battery) instead of lithium batteries. I have two with AGMs. It should be noted that all of them, regardless of battery type, can cause a fire under the right circumstances.

If you store them in with other tools that can bounce around on the road and cause a short, a fire is almost certain. Not saying that’s what happened here, just that that is a hazard to be aware of.

Thank you, @mikemc35, for posting and reminding us all to be careful both with lithium batteries and all electrical devices, and especially for reminding us all to have a fire extinguisher in our rigs.





StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/16/2003

View Profile



Posted: 05/09/21 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikemc53 wrote:


Anyway, a lot of mess but no human damage (except to the nerves). This is just to let everyone know that Lithium Ion batteries are extremely dangerous - I had no idea they could spontaneously combust. I'll try and follow up after a complete investigation by the repair facility and the insurance company but, be careful gang.


good thing no one got hurth and you managed to put it out. This is why the prefered chemistry for us is LiFePo4, it isnt suseptable to thermal runaway like nickle metal hydride or other chemistries.

Steve


2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK

FWC

The Wilderness

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2020

View Profile



Posted: 05/09/21 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you know the brand/model of the jump pack that caught fire?

The lithium polymer batteries used in these have extremely high energy densities and require respect. However, with careful engineering these can be safe. There are literally billions of these in cell phones, laptops etc, and while fires are not unheard off, they are uncommon.

I do worry about the flood of very cheap and likely poorly engineered jump packs, phone power banks, and camping battery packs that are selling like hotcakes. I trust Apple, Dell and the like to engineer their products for safety, but who knows about the uber cheap box of battery type devices.

2oldman

NM

Senior Member

Joined: 04/15/2001

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/09/21 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd be looking this thing up and see if others have had the same experience.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Lithium Ion Batteries...Yikes
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in General RVing Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.